Bill Gates recently shared on his blog that once, when he asked Warren Buffett what his favorite business book was, Buffett instantly replied that it was Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From The World Of Wall Street by John Brooks. Gates had never heard of it, but it became his favorite business book, too. It's being reissued next month, and the endorsements of these two business titans has sent the book's pre-order sales skyrocketing.
The book is a collection of Brooks's New Yorker pieces from the 1960s, including pieces about the failure of the Edsel, the founder of the Piggly Wiggly, and a piece about Xerox's strategic mistakes that Gates says "everyone in the tech industry should study" (and which is available for free on his web site). The New Yorker also shares links to some of the original pieces.
In this video, Gates, Buffett, Adam Gopnik and other fans rave about the book:
Looking for some other business books to read this summer?
The Bill Gates blog post also mentions that Buffett considers The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham "the best book on investing that he has ever read."
Several commentators have compared Brooks to Michael Lewis, whose latest besteller is Flash Boys.
Over at Ad Age, Gates raves in another video about the Brooks reissue and several other summer reads: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (both books we've strongly endorsed), The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stress Test by Timothy Geithner and Reinventing American Health Care by Ezekiel J. Emanuel.